Tennessee School Climate Policy

                              TENNESSE

There are 147 school districts in Tennessee and 1,693 public schools. During the 2020-2021 school year, there were 957,423students enrolled in public schools. About 47% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. There is a policy that directly addresses a school climate survey where Tennessee schools are not forced to administer a school climate survey but if they choose to, they must administer it online to students, parents, and staff. Other Tennessee policies related to school climate include bullying prevention, emergency planning, character education, positive behavior programs, collaborative student support, anti-discrimination, parent involvement, and internet use education for parents and students. There is a policy that states that each local educational agency and public charter school must adopt a trauma-informed discipline policy. There is a policy requiring the inclusion of black history and culture education to be included in all public school curricula in some way. 

Safety

Tennessee School Climate Measurement.

Schools are not forced to administer school climate surveys but those that choose to must administer an online version of school climate surveys as instructed by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), to parents, students, and staff.

https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/school-climate.html


Who does this protect? Students, Teachers

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4502. Part definitions.

Defines the terms cyber-bullying, harassment, bullying, and intimidation and behaviors that are associated with these actions.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4502/

 Tennessee asks schools to develop and implement procedures to prevent bullying and harassment behavior and the consequences of such behavior. Policies also explain that procedures are needed for reporting an incidence of bullying and investigating it.

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4501. Legislative findings — Safety and civility.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4501/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4503. Adoption of a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying by the school district.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4503/index.html

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4504. Adoption of a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying by LEA.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4504/index.html

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4505. Reprisal or retaliation prohibited — Reporting harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying — Immunity from damages.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4505/index.html

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4506. Task forces, programs, or other initiatives.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4506/index.html

Tennessee anti-bullying laws cover incidents that occur on school property, school-sponsored events/activities, and off-school property.


Who does this protect? Students, Teachers

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Tennessee schools need to develop plans for dealing with emergencies.

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-804. Adoption of comprehensive plans.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-804/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-805. Template minimum requirements.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-805/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-802. State-level safety team — Template for safety and emergency response plans.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-802/

Tennessee requires districts to implement practice drills and develop policies for drills.

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-807. Annual armed intruder drill.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-807/index.html

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 68-102-137. Public and private schools — Institutions — Fire drills — Doors to be kept unlocked — Safety drills

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-68/safety/chapter-102/part-1/section-68-102-137/index.html

School enforcement officers in Tennessee;

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4202 Part definitions.

A School resource officer is a law enforcement officer assigned to a school per a memorandum of understanding between the chief of the appropriate law enforcement agency and the local educational agency.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-42/section-49-6-4202/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4217 Employment standards for school resource officers. 
  •    School resource officers shall participate in forty (40) hours of basic training in school policing within twelve (12) months of assignment to a school.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-42/section-49-6-4217/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-815. People are permitted to possess and carry a firearm on school grounds.
  • School resource officers can possess weapons on school grounds

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-815/

Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1309 Carrying weapons on school property.

It is an offense for students and staff to carry weapons or firearms on school property unless the staff;

  • Has a jointly written authorization of the director of schools in conjunction with the principal of the school.
  • Is lawfully authorized to possess weapons on school property.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-39/chapter-17/part-13/section-39-17-1309/

 


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4109 Trauma-informed discipline policy.

Each local educational agency and public charter school shall adopt a trauma-informed discipline policy, which must;

  • Model respectful, nonviolent relationships.
  • Minimize disruptions to education with an emphasis on positive behavioral supports and behavioral intervention plans.
  • Teach school and classroom rules while reinforcing that violent or abusive behavior is not allowed at school.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-41/section-49-6-4109/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1007 Character education.

The course of instruction in all public schools shall include character education to help each student develop positive values and improve student conduct as students learn to act in harmony with their positive values and learn to become good citizens in their school, community, and society.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-10/section-49-6-1007/index.html

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-2408 Adoption of holistic programs of positive behavior — School reports.

Community schools and communities of schools are encouraged to work with parents and community partners to adopt holistic programs of positive behavior reinforcement, such as the Ticket The program works with schools, parents, and the community to reinforce positive behavior at home and school and in all aspects of community life.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-24/section-49-6-2408/

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4002 Discipline policy — Code of conduct.

Each local board of education and charter school governing body may adopt a discipline policy that promotes positive behavior and includes evidence-based practices to respond effectively to misbehavior and minimize a student’s time away from school.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-40/section-49-6-4002/

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4503 Adoption of a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying by the school district.

A procedure for a referral for appropriate counseling and support services for students involved in an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying, when deemed necessary by the principal.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4503/index.html

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1902 Adoption of policies — Establishment of the model policy.

Each LEA shall adopt a policy on student suicide prevention in consultation with community stakeholders, school-employed mental health professionals, and suicide prevention experts.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-19/section-49-6-1902/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-1-231 Student support collaborative.

The collaborative shall identify available resources and areas that school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school nurses can collaborate on to provide high-quality support to students.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-1/part-2/section-49-1-231/


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Teaching/Learning

Tennessee schools must provide individuals with disabilities the support and accommodations they need;

  • Rules & Regulations of the State of Tennessee 0520-01-09-.01 – GENERAL REGULATIONS

https://regulations.justia.com/states/tennessee/title-0520/subtitle-0520-01/chapter-0520-01-09/0520-01-09-01/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-10-1302 Purpose of part.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-10/part-13/section-49-10-1302/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-10-1404 Requirements for participating schools — Penalties for noncompliance.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-10/part-14/section-49-10-1404/


Who does this protect? Students, Students with disabilities

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-413 Voluntary participation in community service.

A student attending a public high school is encouraged to participate voluntarily in at least ten (10) hours of community service each semester that the student is in attendance.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-4/section-49-6-413/


Who does this protect? High school students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Interpersonal Relationships

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1006 Black history and culture.

The course of instruction in all public schools should include, at some appropriate grade level or levels, as determined by the local board of education, courses, and content designed to educate children on black history and culture and the contribution of black people to the history and development of this country and the world.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-10/section-49-6-1006/index.html

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1005. Inclusion of religion for education purposes only — Adoption of policy regarding inclusion of religion in local curriculum — Publicly available syllabus — Revision of social studies standards.

The inclusion of religion in textbooks, instructional materials, curriculum, or academic standards shall be for educational purposes only and shall not be used to proselytize or establish any religion or religious belief.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-10/section-49-6-1005/


Who does this protect? Students in specific groups

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-1-230. Development of training programs for adverse childhood experiences.

The department of education shall develop an evidence-based training program on adverse childhood experiences for school leaders and teachers.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-1/part-2/section-49-1-230/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1901. Training for teachers and principals.

All employees of each local educational agency shall attend the annual in-service training in suicide prevention required to be provided to teachers and principals

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-19/section-49-6-1901/index.html

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-305. Development and adoption of a program to promote the involvement of parents and guardians.

The program can include the development of preparation programs and specialized courses for certified employees and administrators that promote parental involvement

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-2/part-3/section-49-2-305/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-3004. School term.

In-service training for teachers and principals will include issues of prevention and intervention strategies for students in the area of behavioral/emotional disorders, suicide prevention, and address dyslexia and other reading disorders

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-30/section-49-6-3004/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4503. Adoption of a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying by the school district.

At the start of each school year, local educational agencies will provide training to teachers and counselors regarding the prohibition of bullying, harassment, and intimidation policy, and appropriate procedures relative to the implementation of the policy

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4503/index.html


Who does this protect? Staff, Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4109. Trauma-informed discipline policy.

Each local educational agency and public charter school shall adopt a trauma-informed discipline policy, which must;

  • Model respectful, nonviolent relationships.
  • Minimize disruptions to education with an emphasis on positive behavioral supports and behavioral intervention plans.
  • Teach school and classroom rules while reinforcing that violent or abusive behavior is not allowed at school.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-41/section-49-6-4109/

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1007. Character education.

The course of instruction in all public schools shall include character education to help each student develop positive values and improve student conduct as students learn to act in harmony with their positive values and learn to become good citizens in their school, community, and society.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-10/section-49-6-1007/index.html

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-2408. Adoption of holistic programs of positive behavior — School reports.

Community schools and communities of schools are encouraged to work with parents and community partners to adopt holistic programs of positive behavior reinforcement, such as the Ticket Program, that work with schools, parents, and the community to reinforce positive behavior at home and school and in all aspects of community life.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-24/section-49-6-2408/

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4002. Discipline policy — Code of conduct.

Each local board of education and charter school governing body may adopt a discipline policy that promotes positive behavior and includes evidence-based practices to respond effectively to misbehavior and minimize a student’s time away from school.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-40/section-49-6-4002/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4503. Adoption of a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying by the school district.

A procedure for a referral for appropriate counseling and support services for students involved in an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyberbullying, when deemed necessary by the principal.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-45/section-49-6-4503/index.html

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1902. Adoption of policies — Establishment of the model policy.

Each LEA shall adopt a policy on student suicide prevention in consultation with community stakeholders, school-employed mental health professionals, and suicide prevention experts.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-19/section-49-6-1902/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-1-231. Student support collaborative.

The collaborative shall identify available resources and areas that school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school nurses can collaborate on to provide high-quality support to students.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-1/part-2/section-49-1-231/


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Institutional Enviroment

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-2408. Adoption of holistic programs of positive behavior — School reports.

Community schools and communities of schools are encouraged to work with parents and community partners to adopt holistic programs of positive behavior reinforcement, such as the Ticket Program, that work with schools, parents, and the community to reinforce positive behavior at home and school and in all aspects of community life.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-24/section-49-6-2408/

 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-305. Development and adoption of a program to promote the involvement of parents and guardians.

Local educational agencies, in consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators, shall develop and adopt a policy to promote the involvement of parents and guardians.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-2/part-3/section-49-2-305/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7005. Improving parental involvement in children’s education.

Local educational agencies are authorized and encouraged to partner with individuals, community and faith-based groups and organizations, and nonprofit and for-profit entities to design and implement programs to improve parental involvement.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-70/section-49-6-7005/

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-115. Family resource centers.

Family resource centers may be established by any local educational agency to coordinate state and community services to help meet the needs of families with children.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-2/part-1/section-49-2-115/


Who does this protect? Students, Parents

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Tennessee schools need to develop plans for dealing with emergencies.

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-804. Adoption of comprehensive plans.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-804/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-805. Template minimum requirements.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-805/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-802. State-level safety team — Template for safety and emergency response plans.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-802/

Tennessee requires districts to implement practice drills and develop policies for drills.

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-807. Annual armed intruder drill.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-807/index.html

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 68-102-137. Public and private schools — Institutions — Fire drills — Doors to be kept unlocked — Safety drills

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-68/safety/chapter-102/part-1/section-68-102-137/index.html

School enforcement officers in Tennessee;

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4202 Part definitions. 

A School resource officer is a law enforcement officer assigned to a school per a memorandum of understanding between the chief of the appropriate law enforcement agency and the local educational agency.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-42/section-49-6-4202/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4217 Employment standards for school resource officers.

School resource officers shall participate in forty (40) hours of basic training in school policing within twelve (12) months of assignment to a school.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-42/section-49-6-4217/

  • Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-815. People are permitted to possess and carry a firearm on school grounds.

School resource officers can possess weapons on school grounds.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-6/part-8/section-49-6-815/

Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1309 Carrying weapons on school property.

It is an offense for students and staff to carry weapons or firearms on school property unless the staff;

  • Has a jointly written authorization of the director of schools in conjunction with the principal of the school.
  • Is lawfully authorized to possess weapons on school property.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-39/chapter-17/part-13/section-39-17-1309/


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

 

There is no current policy surrounding Social Inclusion in the state of Tennessee. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School Climate Center

Social Media

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-1-221. Policy on the use of the Internet — Filing of policy — Contents.

The acceptable internet use policy will include;

  • A component on Internet safety for students that is integrated into a school district’s instructional program.
  • Encourage communications with parents that raise awareness about Internet safety using existing avenues of communication.

https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2019/title-49/chapter-1/part-2/section-49-1-221/


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

There is currently no policy surrounding Leadership in Tennessee. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School

There is currently no policy surrounding Professional Relationships in Tennessee. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School

Sources include: nasbe.org and childtrends.org